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Mauch Cites Danger of Drugs but Opposes Ueberroth’s Solution

Times Staff Writer

Angel Manager Gene Mauch doesn’t like drugs at all, but he doesn’t like baseball Commissioner Peter Ueberroth’s solution to the drug problem, either.

“I believe that drugs are a greater danger to our society than any other country is,” Mauch said Thursday, a day off for his team.

“More people in this country have died from drugs than died at Hiroshima. Two or three times as many. But this thing from the commissioner’s office . . . it isn’t going to accomplish anything.”

Ueberroth announced Tuesday that all baseball personnel except major league players, who are protected from mandatory testing by an agreement between baseball management and the ballplayers’ union, the Major League Players Assn., would be tested for drug use.

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Mauch said he would be in favor of tougher discipline for users and abusers.

Angel catcher Bob Boone, a member of the union’s Executive Council, reflected on the subject of mandatory testing and said: “I find it dehumanizing. I resent it as much as I resent the use of drugs.

“If we’re going to start mandatory testing, I hope they start with airline pilots first and doctors second. Then then can start worrying about entertainers.”

Angel General Manager Mike Port said Thursday that all of the club’s minor league players were given drug tests in spring training and that all had passed. They will also be tested at periodic intervals during the season, he said.

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Daryl Sconiers, coming off treatment for “substance abuse,” has now spent nine days on rehabilitation assignment with the Angels’ Midland team of the Double-A Texas League.

“So far so good,” Port said. “He seems to be swinging the bat well. He seems to be physically fit.”

The rehab assignment spans a maximum of 20 days.

“We then have to bring him back to the big leagues or return him to the (inactive status of the) rehabilitation list,” Port said. “It’s not inconceivable that we could cut the 20-day period short, but we’re probably looking at the complete period because Daryl missed all of spring training.”

Port said he could not predict what decision the Angels would make, particularly since the team already has depth at first base with Rod Carew, Bobby Grich, Juan Beniquez and Darrell Miller.

“We set up the club with the idea that Daryl wouldn’t be available,” he said. “Now the predicament is . . . how do we plug him back in?”

Neither Sconiers nor the Angels have revealed the substance he was involved with, but a source requesting anonymity said Thursday that it was categorized by baseball’s joint drug committee as a Schedule 2 substance, among which are cocaine and a long list of amphetamines.


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